Natalie Walrond, MBA, serves as the Director of the Resilient and Healthy Schools and Communities content area at WestEd. In this role, she oversees the growth and dissemination of the agency’s body of work related to creating safe, supportive, responsive, and equitable conditions in which every child, youth, and adult can learn, grow, and thrive. She also serves as director of the national Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety, housed at WestEd. In this role, she leads the vision, strategic direction, and external engagement of the center. She leads a team of people who work nationally to build state and local capacity to integrate evidence-based approaches to social and emotional development and school safety with academic teaching and learning, school climate and culture, and all of the ways that children and youth experience school. She speaks and writes for the Center on social and emotional well-being, excellence, alignment and coherence, and equity.
Walrond brings to her work 25 years of experience in K–12 education, finance, and strategy, for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining WestEd, she was an independent consultant, serving mission-driven education organizations, providing strategic planning, financial strategy, and board effectiveness consulting. All of her engagements were guided by clients’ aspirations of equity and race equity. She began her career working for ten years in investment management and investment banking. She then served as a nonprofit chief financial officer before becoming an associate partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, a local education venture philanthropy organization. Additionally, she has served on several nonprofit boards. She is currently a member of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) and serves on the board of Beyond 12. Walrond earned a BA in International Studies and International Business from Trinity University and an MBA from the University of Chicago, with concentrations in analytic finance and policy studies.